TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

What a painting "means" is useless and has likely always been so.

The new freedom will be to own our own experience of what is being viewed. The notion that anyone can "know" what the artist intended is preposterous. All the knowledge in the world about what was in the artist's mind can never get you inside the artists head.

My own paintings have never been about what I had to say or what I was trying to communicate---they have always been about the viewer having their own experience---whatever that might be---and owning that experience.

+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Dec 7 2012: Allow me to quote Jacques Maritain as a different perspective on the idea of artists expressing a meaning in their paintings: QUOTE: "However skillful an artist may be, and however perfect his technique, if he unhappily has nothing to tell us, his work is valuless." Do you find any value in his statement?
    • Dec 7 2012: I find this statement unequivocally absurd. His statement sounds like it has more to do with job security than the possibilities of art.
      • thumb
        Dec 7 2012: I see you are not intimidated by Maritane's reputation as a powerful and influential philosopher and thinker. I expected, and respect, your response based on your clear statement of the meaning, or lack thereof, contained in your paintings. Do you think it is inconsistent that the artist could be expressing a personal thought, truth, or emotion, and, at the same time, offering the viewer an opportunity to "have their own experience"?
        P.S.-- Is your work currently exhibited in the Oxford Gallery online?
        • Dec 7 2012: Edward, that is pretty much exactly how I see it---if I am reading you correctly :) As to Mairtane---"important" people are wrong all the time :)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.